George W. Bush is reportedly worried he'll be America's last Republican president
It was mid-April when as many as 1,000 alumni of the most recent Republican administration descended on Dallas for a staff reunion to reminisce about sunnier times. Former President George W. Bush autographed cowboy hats, Vice President Dick Cheney snapped selfies and First Lady Laura Bush chatted up the crowd. The memories were happy; the fajitas were plentiful.
When it came to talk of 2016, though, the mood was grim. The Republican primary had just narrowed to essentially two choices, each anathema to these card-carrying members of the GOP establishment: Ted Cruz and, even more egregiously, Donald Trump.
But few were as dark about the Republican Party’s future as former President Bush himself. In a more intimate moment during the reunion, surrounded by a smaller clutch of former aides and advisers, Bush weighed in with an assessment so foreboding that some who relayed it could not discern if it was gallows humor or blunt realpolitik.
“I’m worried,” Bush told them, “that I will be the last Republican president.”
Donald Trump, who will officially become the Republican nominee on Tuesday, has done little to inspire renewed confidence since.